February 16, 2021

Vicarious Sewing

My house is in upheaval. My kitchen has been removed pending installation of a new one, and while the project should be completed tomorrow in fact I have barely seen a worker since the original demolition and I have no idea when I’ll see one again. I have a plan for a sewing project that’s been put on hold: it’s a pattern for a three piece suit that I’ve altered to give a Teddy Boy drape silhouette. Read more

January 7, 2021

Social Media

As I stayed up late last night, rapidly refreshing the news about the minority-elected president of a broken country and his attempt to perpetuate his regime by blocking the peaceful transfer of power, I realised that my relationship with the internet is broken. I was using Facebook and Twitter like an addict, frequently refreshing, looking for opportunities to drop hot takes, seeing what reactions I got. It’s not healthy, and it’s not helpful. Read more

September 22, 2020

Weird Shaving

Having noticed that cartridge shaving has a significant total cost of ownership, and that people seem to enjoy the alternatives, I decided to switch to the safety razor, or double edge (DE) system. DE razors have those interchangable blades that look like your classic image of a razor blade, so you buy 100 blades (a couple of years’ supply) for a handful of pounds, rather than four disposable plastic cartridges (a couple of months at best) for quite a few pounds. Read more

July 28, 2020

Curie Notebooks

I watched Radioactive. It’s flawed—we have to watch Marie Curie apparently predict (or at least be blamed for nuclear weapons, atomic weapons, and the Chernobyl disaster) but not too bad: Rosamund Pike is very good and they do show Curie working with her daughter Irene Joliot-Curie. Though the dynasty is cut off there: in real life Helene and Pierre (Marie and Pierre’s grandchildren) are both scientists as is Helene’s son, Yves Langevin. Read more

July 27, 2020

Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE

I just went over to Warwick racecourse and saw Comet NEOWISE through my binoculars. They don’t have a whole lot of magnification (the point with astronomy optics is to gather more light, not so much to zoom in) so it was a blurry patch of sky against a fairly bright background. Warwick is very light, and is close to plenty of other light places. It’s been a long time since I really connected with astronomy. Read more

July 21, 2020

Concrete Island

I started reading J.G. Ballard in the middle of his “modern life is rubbish” trilogy, having not read Crash. Actually, “started” is the wrong way to put it: I’ve read The Wind from Nowhere before, but that’s not great. So not great, in fact, that the “About this Author” section in his other books pretends that he started writing later, claiming The Drowned World as his first novel. Anyway, Concrete Island is a good read. Read more

© Graham Lee